Noah’s memoir is extraordinary in its observations of South Africa in the years when apartheid crumbled. It’s equally unusual in the troubling personal story it tells. Throw in Noah’s sharp, droll prose style, and you have a book that feels like essential reading on every level.
...what makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism ... Consider Born a Crime another such gift to [his mother] — and an enormous gift to the rest of us.
...[a] gripping biography ... while Noah is deft at exposing and ridiculing the incongruities and absurdities of a racist state, he never quite turns the corner into a full-fledged critique of the idea of race itself—something his own biography would seem to beg for ... Noah’s memoir relates, in vivid and moving terms, how his life prepared him for the public role he now occupies, drawing on his unique vantage point to cut through and illuminate our shared trauma.